Political and Cultural Hegemony – A Battlefield of Minds (Part 1)
“In the fight of minds the occupation of a term
is as important as in war the occupation of a fortress”
How many of us use the term ‘gender’ instead of ‘sex’ when asked if we are either man or woman? And how many know the meaning of this term? And do they know that this concept was developed many years ago by Simone de Beauvoir? And how many know that they are then following an ideology which they might abhor or be inimical towards?
And do we know if we are speaking the language of friend or foe? And how many are aware that even in combating certain ideologies or concepts they use the other side’s terms, implicitly accepting the other side’s basic premises, so that it is no longer a dispute in and of a certain quality, but nothing more than quite helpless horse trading based on the intellectual premises of the others?
And how many are aware that in this regard, a compromise is never possible, but only a part or delayed capitulation?
That great philosophers or founders of religions or ideologies influence minds is not really a startling revelation. It was said by Egon Friedell that behind the campaigns of Alexander the Great you may discover Aristotle.
But that some strategically-thinking intellectuals influence through quite a long time in a manipulative way, in a way the influenced one do not even notice or being aware of, might, with all appropriate modesty, be called interesting. That is evident for the thinkers of the Frankfurt School, such as Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse and Juergen Habermas, and must this aspect no longer be discussed in detail.
It is remarkable and dangerous that radical, nihilistic thinkers meet obviously-mentally and intellectually-insecure and immature students, a result of mass education and mass universities, which are in fact the opposite of a true academic realm. This combination then produces, to use a term coined by Karl Popper, a “poisonous brew.”
How poisonous we have historically experienced with the Chinese cultural revolution, the 68ers in Germany and Austria, the SDS in the United States, the Tupamaros in Latin America, and, surely worst of all and the most murderous pack in the 20th century, the Khmer Rouge. which had been infected with radical Marxist thinking at the Sorbonne.
We in South Africa now experience the “fallists” and the utterly inept, suspect and spineless reaction to them by academic authorities (or non-authorities).
It is further remarkable that it took quite so long until the right side of the political spectrum started developing countermeasures and methods to combat these influences. Even more remarkable is that the established parties of the centre or centre-right, until today, do not even understand the concept of cultural hegemony and have left, and still leave schools, universities, media and all kind of positions which work on Sinnstiftung, on giving philosophical or even metaphysical sense and purpose, to the left. All that had been left to the left.
Although the now well-established left has only been able to serve an intellectually-thin stew their mechanism for many years, tools and methods to retain their hegemony are still effective, although, today being not more than moralistic blackmailing, the shouting of “four legs good, two legs bad!” and symbolic stoning of everyone who dares to call the name “Jehova” as Monty Python showed us in their brilliant satire Life of Brian.
It is quite encouraging that a strict opposition to that power game – and it is nothing more than a power game – emerged from the libertarian side and conservatives influenced by libertarian or ordo-liberal deliberations. Followers of these ideas are instinctively inimical to dogmatism and arbitrary rules imposed by political or cultural correctness.
The quite young, various patriotic parties and movements existing in various countries of the European Union have, in this regard, done their homework and, at least, know this said concept and started to develop counter-weapons. The movements of the Identitaeren (meaning the keepers of identity in the cultural, historically, ethnic realms of a nation) which appear with quite witty and thought-provoking actions in France, Austria and Germany have obviously studied the thinkers of the left very carefully, and turn quite remarkable skilled leftist tools, instruments and methods against the established left. This did not happen early enough.
Analyzing the concept of cultural hegemony, understanding it and combating the left and trying to reach an influential place in the body politic leads, of course, to a kulturkampf, a fight about the essence and the meaning of the culture of the state or nation. Many in the political centre or moderate right abhor such a fight, forgetting that in refusing this fight, they do not avoid the other side’s victory or hegemony, as the other side was, and is, eager to fight.
A one-sided pacifist attitude always ends with the subjugation of the ones who wanted to avoid confrontation, or with finally taking up the fight but under quite unfavourable conditions. Never has the obvious peacefulness of a lamb stopped a hungry wolf.
That the established left – the vast establishment nourishing itself from a state – which has far too much income from taxes, by all kind of subsidies, consists of very radical leftists acting extremely aggressively and, in more than one criminal way, someone has to do the dirty work. Then all the intellectuals deeply rooted in many institutions, of course, subsidised by tax money or private funds which they hijacked by changing the purposes of these funds, most of them enjoying sinecures, teachers, academic staff, journalists, and party employees who miraculously think very similar, although being in on the surface very different parties. Managers of enterprises, lobbyists, civil society organisations, the many functionaries of the Church and of other religious communities, are also heavenly influenced by cultural Marxism and are nothing more than priests for the riff-raff. All these pressure groups form a dense network of influence and mutual assistance, which hides its very authoritarian style under the mask of anti-authoritarianism, benign phrases, talk of liberality, tolerance and plurality.
But, if challenged, the mask is falling quickly and they partly react as helpless, insulted, annoyed, grumpy and musty as the bourgeois in the past confronted with something provocative by the left. The game of epater le bourgoise remains the same, but the object of the attack is different: the representatives of the just milieu gauche.
We have to keep in mind: War is peace, want is plenty, slavery is freedom, liberality is tyranny, pluralism is conformism, diversity is monotony, tolerance is suppression, critical thinking, unashamed dogmatism, and the statements, utterances, phrases and jargon of the leftist establishment, are one big fat ugly lie. As the American songwriter and singer, himself a part of the protest culture, Pete Seeger wrote about “boxes, there is a green one and a blue one and a yellow one and a red one and they all are made of ticky-tacky and they all are just the same …” that being certainly not tickety-boo.
Let us not forget that the leftist are grand masters in the tactic “catch the thief”. They are incredibly good in distracting from their own sinister ambitions and from real, pressing issues.
I would like to introduce shortly (of course, all of them deserve and have been object to very intense investigations and deliberations) totally different men (feminists, please excuse me: men not persons and the quota is 100 percent, also with all the other thinkers mentioned in this article, but please remember I mentioned Simone de Beauvoir), different in their roots, their ethnic and religious backgrounds, their basic ideological concept, their way of approaching others and what they really wanted to achieve.
I try to point out how a mental hegemony appears and works in the body politic and which consequences it had and has. Hopefully, I give the benign reader weapons to counter, intellectually and mentally, the leftist hegemony and an impetus to make further studies on their own.